Programming book for managers

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Arganos0, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. Arganos0, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2011

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #1
    Hey all,

    I am currently working for a company that is in the IT outsourcing business. In the future I will have to become an "intermediary" between clients and programmers. I have to be able to translate the wishes of the client to the programmers and, vice versa, be able to interpret what the programmers mean and translate it into business-friendly language.

    I was wondering, is there a book with basic terminology/concepts that I can read to get up to speed on definitions in the programming world? I don't need to understand the languages thoroughly. In my high school days I did some CSS/HTML/Javascript and very basic C++, and I had some computer science courses (very superficial though) so I know a little bit of programming mechanics. It would help if I could somehow get up to speed with basic concepts/frameworks etc.

    Does any of you have recommendations for books or other written material? I want to be able to understand what programmers actually mean instead of just nodding in acknowledgement and guessing. I would also save time by not having the programmers do unnecessary work.

    Kind regards,

    Arganos0

    EDIT: apologies to mod.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    You'd probably find what you need in a very general introduction to programming type text...I'm thinking "Beginning Programming for Dummies" would be a good start, based on the description and table of contents. http://www.dummies.com/store/produc...70088702,navId-322468,descCd-description.html
     
  3. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #3

    So what you do is you take the specifications from the customers and you bring them down to the software engineers? Well, then I gotta ask, then why can't the customers just take the specifications directly to the software people, huh?


    Heh, couldn't help myself :D
     
  4. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #4
    That's not a manager's or a project manager's job. That's the job of the Analyst. The Analyst is the one that translates customer requirements into a specification as required by the development team and is the one that makes the link with the customer for any modification to the requirements.

    So you got a job as an analyst without knowing the first thing about software development ? Nice. Congratulations on your new found field that requires a college education in computer science.
     
  5. macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #5
    He already told you: he deals with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. He has people skills; he's good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?


    :D
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #6
    If you've already written C++, as you say, then you already have enough understanding to translate engineering-speak to business-speak. You'd probably be better off picking up a copy of "Hindi for Dummies."

    You read my mind.
    :)
     
  7. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #7
    Or at least practice for your new job by reading a 16 year old girl's twitter feed and translating it into coherent English because the level of grammar and abbreviations is about the same.
     
  8. Arganos0, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #8
    Actually, I might not have expressed myself very clearly.

    @KnightWRX: Translating and analyzing things is not going to be a full-time occupation. But every now and again it might be necessary. I've got a degree in Intl. Business, and as such will be dealing mostly with the customers and prospects. I think it doesn't hurt to know some more about programming.

    To provide an analogy: I think it's useful if a car salesman knows how an engine works, in general. On the other hand, he doesn't have to know how the chemical reaction works when ignition takes place inside the engine cylinders.

    If the event occurs that I need to do something quickly, I want to have at least some knowledge in the back of my head.

    @yg17: the reason is mostly language issues ;) Not everyone speaks English you know.

    @ OutThere: thanks for the suggestion. I'll have a look at it.

    @codymac: I already picked up Chinese and Spanish ;) maybe in a few years I'll do hindi
     
  9. macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    I know, but I'm convinced that they are taught English by a 16 year old high school girl ;)
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The Black Lodge
    #10
    The first book that comes to my mind is "Software Engineering" by Ian Sommerville.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    Make sure you don't end up as a pointy-haired boss.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #12
    I must say that looks very very good. Thank you very much!

    @Giuly: I'll try not to end up like a pointy-haired boss.
     
  13. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #13
    Sure it might not but when it will be, it is the job of an Analyst, someone versed in computer science, that understands how to translate requirements into specifications.

    A Intl Business college graduate (aka, salesdroid) does not have a proper education to just "pick this up reading a book on programming".

    A specification is not just a bunch of programming pseudo-code (actually, it's not even close to that), it's defining customer requirements as a set of tasks, customer data into a relational hierarchy, understanding domain-key database organisation, creating processes that describe data-flux between tasks, etc..

    That's my point really. If you're going to get thrown into that role and hope to have any kind of success, you better be a lot more prepare than simply "having read a book on programming".
     
  14. Arganos0, Apr 29, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011

    thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    #14
    What you are saying is completely correct. However, the things I will have to deal with are not of that level. For what you note, a competent analyst is needed who is well versed in computer science. I was asking for a dummy guide for basic terms/expressions.

    Thanks for the worry though, but I won't have to go that far in-depth. Besides, having a business school person deal with technical stuff of that level would be a complete joke.

    Your definition of salesdroid is a bit harsh though.
     
  15. macrumors Pentium

    KnightWRX

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #15
    Hum, I'm sorry, but the analyst is the intermediary between the "client" and the "programmer". If you had another level of indirection between the "client" and the "analyst" in the form of a business trained individual, you risk having a specification that does not meet the requirements.

    Anyway, not my company, I don't care. Try a book on software engineering like torbjern recommends.
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    kainjow

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2000
    #16
    In the future, please don't do this. If you got your answer, just leave your posts as they are, as they will be helpful for someone else who comes along with the same issue. Plus since someone already quoted your post it's kind of pointless to remove it anyways.
     

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